I didn’t want to go. It was cold, snowy, early, and I had spent the previous two days running around at state music conference so my legs were tired. (damn those heels).
But begrudgingly I showed up and toed the line. I had in my plan to stay just under comfortable. I didn’t plan for a PR, mostly a up-tempo long run. Alas, I did not accomplish either. From the first steps I knew that my legs weren’t interested in participating in the race. By the end of mile 1, my shins were screaming and I had pain in my right calf like I’d never before experienced. It was horrid. For the first time in a race I considered DNF’ing. But I told myself that my students knew I was racing and I couldn’t bear to tell them I quit and I know that Ironman is going to hurt way worse that this ever will.
So I plodded along watching people pass me left and right and feeling my time plummet. (Just keeping going, I said). I tried many times to make peace with the fact that this would just be a run.
I really did, in a lot of ways, make peace with running slow. It was this realization at how my running has and will continue to change. Not a resignation that I will always be slow, but a recognition that I’m slow right now.
The pain didn’t really subside, it just warmed up a little bit. I felt the pain in my mid foot that resulted from being a professionally dressed teacher on Saturday in my kick-ass heels. I slowed to a marathon and slower than marathon pace, which was disheartening. But managed to pick up the last five under 9 to finish under 2 (barely).
Today I feel pain in the body. I got what I deserved. I have not run enough or at the same level as when I ran with MM. I haven’t yet found the right niche for running without my zen sister. So today, on my snow day, I will consider sitting myself out in the snow to reduce the inflammation. And I will try to make peace with my lack of speed.
For now. I try not to dwell what I feel was failure and look upon God’s great creation covered in falling snow.